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National Guard Magazine |
November 2023

Inspired Gifts

The McGinn family of Quincy, Massachusetts, had quite a day Nov. 18.

First, the NGAUS board of directors elected retired Maj. Gen. Francis M. McGinn the next association president. Then, the National Guard Educational Foundation recognized him and his wife, Kerry, for a large contribution in honor of his grandfather of the same name who fought and died in World War II.

The McGinns were among 20 individuals, couples or corporations welcomed into the foundation’s Legion de Lafayette at a reception after the board meeting at the National Guard Memorial, the NGAUS headquarters in Washington, D.C. The LdL is reserved for contributions of $10,000 or more.

Their donation was one of several made in honor of family members who inspired the service of later generations.

First Lt. Francis M. McGinn was a Boston schoolteacher and Guardsman. In World War II, he was assigned to the 767th Tank Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. He was killed in action while advancing from the beachhead in Leyte, Philippines, Oct. 25, 1944.

Inspired to serve, four of his sons joined the military, two in the Army, one in the Navy and one in the Marine Corps, serving during the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. Two of his two grandsons followed suit, one in the Army and the other, his namesake, in the Army Guard.

“The Guard has been an important part of our family,” said McGinn, who has been on the NGAUS board for 15 years, “and we are happy to support the National Guard Education Foundation in honor of our grandfather and father’s service to the nation.”

The NGEF preserves and shares all 387 years of the Guard’s story. Among its programs is the National Guard Memorial Museum, which boasts 5,600 square feet of artifacts, images and interactive exhibits.

McGinn wasn’t the only NGAUS board member honored for donating in memory of a loved one. Maj. Gen. Jimmie L. Cole Jr., the association’s vice chair-Army, and his wife, Danya, donated in honor of the late Sgt. 1st Class Jimmie L. Cole Sr., a Vietnam veteran.

“Throughout his life he demonstrated selfless service and insisted respect was something you earned, not something that was achieved based on position,” said the proud son, who is also deputy adjutant general of Tennessee. “My father was a hard man, but there was never a doubt how much he loved his family and country. To have him memorialized this evening leaves me speechless.”

Meanwhile, brothers George G. Demetriades Jr. and Mathew Demetriades contributed in memory of their father, Capt. George G. Demetriades Sr., a member of the North Carolina Army Guard. Also, retired Brig. Gen. John Driscoll and his wife, Merribeth Morin, of Massachusetts, donated in the name of her father, 1st Lt. Louis F. Morin, a 1952 West Point graduate and Korean War veteran.

“[Morin] was a generous man with character and a sense of humor making all laugh, especially his family, to whom he was a husband, dad, grandfather, friend and a big part of our lives,” Driscoll said. “As his generosity was shared with us through the years, we decided to pay it forward to future National Guard families, in his honor and his memory.”

Additionally, Andy Hove, the former president/CEO at AM General LLC and a current member of the NGEF board, donated in honor of the Hove, Matzke and Wengert men who served the nation and the state of Nebraska. And NGAUS contributed to the memory of Sgt. 1st Class Collin J. Bowen, a Maryland Army Guard soldier who died in 2008 from wounds suffered in Afghanistan (related story). He was represented by his widow, Ursula Palmer, and his daughter, Gabriela.

We are happy to support the National Guard Educational Foundation in honor of our grandfather and father's service to the nation.

—Maj. Gen. Francis M. McGinn (Ret.), a member of the NGAUS Board of Directors and a former member of the Massachusetts Army National Guard

THERE WERE SEVEN OTHER individual contributions. Most said they were just giving back.

They included retired Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, the former adjutant general of Nebraska and past president of the Adjutants General Association of the United States, and his wife, Kris; retired Brig. Gen. Dave Brubaker, a one-time deputy director of the Air Guard; and retired Maj. Gen. Garry Dean, the president of Peduzzi Associates.

Retired Col. David Kirtley, of Mississippi; retired Maj. Gen. Terry L. Scherling, of North Dakota; retired Lt. Col. Chris Small, a member of the NGEF board; and retired Maj. Gen. Delilah R. Works, of Tennessee, also made individual donations.

“I will forever be grateful for the tremendous memories and experiences that shaped my life by being a member of the National Guard,” said Scherling, a former special assistant to the chief of the National Guard Bureau.

There were also seven donations from corporations: Airbus, AM General, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Northrop Grumman, Oshkosh Defense, Stanley Black & Decker and USAA.

“Supporting NGEF helps educate the public about the heritage and contributions the National Guard has made to the United States and honors the memory and achievements of America’s citizen-soldiers,” said Steve Burns, Airbus senior business development manager — national capital region.

Those honored received a replica of an 1832 medal the New York militia presented to Marquis de Lafayette, after whom the LdL program is named. A French aristocrat who served in both the American and French revolutions, he played a major role in the development of the state militias, which are now collectively known as the National Guard.

Lafayette commanded the famous Garde Nationale de Paris in France. During his visit to New York in 1824, the militia unit that provided his honor guard adopted the designation National Guard out of respect to his unit in France. The name stuck, growing in popularity until it became the official name of the organization of militias nationwide in the early 20th century.

Additionally, the NGEF stencils the name of every donor, or that of the person they wish to memorialize, on a wall outside the G.V. Montgomery Room, where the NGAUS board meets in the association’s headquarters.

The NGEF maintains the National Guard Monument just off Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. (NGEF Collection)

THE 20 HONOREES contributed a combined $230,000, bringing the foundation’s 2023 fundraising to more than $500,000, most of it a product of the LdL program.

The National Guard Memorial Museum is one of multiple NGEF programs designed to tell the Guard story. Another is a research library that includes the NGAUS Archives — 145 years of documents and files that chronicle the association’s history and its influence on the evolution of the modern Guard. It also has hard-to-find state records and thousands of other military titles.

NGEF staff also maintains a website that includes blogs on Guard history, information on upcoming foundation programs, a virtual museum tour, and a portal to order this and previous year’s NGEF Commemorative Ornament.

Information on the NGEF’s two scholarship programs is also available at www.ngef.org. One is the USAA Guardian Scholarship Fund (related story), which provides college scholarships of up to $6,250 to children of Guardsmen killed in the Global War on Terror. Another is The Van Hipp Heroes Scholarship Fund, which awards $1,000 scholarships to Guardsmen wounded in the GWOT.

The foundation also produces the Minuteman Minute, a series of monthly 60-second YouTube videos on Guard history. And it offers internship opportunities in the museum and the library/archives to undergraduate and graduate students to gain credit hours, community service time and practical experience.

Additionally, the NGEF maintains a special monument atop a former German pillbox just off Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, where members of the Guard’s 29th Infantry Division stormed ashore on D-Day, June 6, 1944. It’s a memorial to all Guardsmen who fought in Europe during World War II.

A contingent from NGAUS and NGEF will travel to France next year for a ceremony at the monument and to participate in other events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Allied invasion that began the liberation of West Europe from the Axis powers.


Top Row (from left): Andy Hove, NGEF Board of Directors; Maj. Gen. Garry Dean (Ret.), President, Peduzzi Associates; Stephen Burns, Senior Business Development Manager—National Capital Region, Airbus; Darin Gilderoy, Government Segment Manager, Stanley Black & Decker; Mike Shortsleeve, Vice President, Strategy Business Development General Atomics Aeronautical Systems; Col. David Kirtley (Ret.), Mississippi Air National Guard

Third Row (from left): Lt. Col. Chris Small (Ret.), NGEF Board of Directors; Susan Hawkins, Senior Director of Strategy and Mission Solutions, Navigation, Targeting and Survivability Division, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems; John Chadbourne, Executive Vice President, Chief Business Development Officer and Government Relations, AM General; Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac (Ret.), Nebraska Air National Guard; Maj. Gen. Francis M. McGinn (Ret.), NGAUS Board of Directors; Kerry McGinn; Brig. Gen. John Driscoll (Ret.), Massachusetts Army National Guard

Second Row (from left): Col. Yancey Williams (Ret.), Director, Army Business Development, Oshkosh Defense; Maj. Gen. Delilah R. Works (Ret.), Tennessee Air National Guard; Brig. Gen. Dave Brubaker (Ret.); Ursula Palmer; Chief Master Sgt. Dick Smith (Ret.), USAA; Merribeth Morin; Maj. Gen. Janson “Durr” Boyles, Chairman of the Board, NGAUS & NGEF

Front Row (from left): Mathew Demetriades; George G. Demetriades; Maj. Gen. Terry L. Scherling (Ret.), North Dakota National Guard; Gabriela Bowen; Ian Palmer; Danya Cole; Maj. Gen. Jimmie L. Cole Jr., NGAUS Vice Chair-Army